Buy-to-let investors now have until 2026 to ensure all properties have an Energy Performance Certificate of C or above, with a one-year extension recently announced. This regulation hopes to reduce carbon emissions and make homes more energy-efficient, as part of the Government’s 2050 net-zero target.
Since 2008, all rental properties in England have required an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). In 2018, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were introduced and required rented properties to meet a minimum E EPC. Following an initial consultation in 2020, this was then amended to a minimum C EPC, with an initial deadline of 2025 and 2028 for existing lets. The deadline for existing lets remains the same.
An EPC C rating equals 69-80 Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) points and is now the new required minimum for all rented properties in England. Improving the EPC rating of a property can result in a reduction in energy bills and carbon footprint, as well as an increase in property value.
Failure to meet the minimum band C requirement could result in landlords facing up to a £30,000 fine.
It’s estimated that around half of all rental properties in England require upgrades so to meet the new band C requirement. The average cost of these upgrades is estimated at £7,646 per property, with a £10,000 recommended cap set by the Government.
The recommended upgrades for a ‘C’ EPC include:
The consultation period on EPC upgrades closed in January 2021, but the Government is yet to publish an official response.